Helping refugees in Ecuador

Episcopal Relief & Development sent word today about the work it is doing in the Diocese of Central Ecuador, working to help meet the basic material needs of Colombian refugees in Quito, Ecuador’s capital.

From its statement: ERD is calling this move a “temporary expansion of relief services … to cover a gap in services usually provided by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR), which has suspended its operations during a period of restructuring. Blankets, sleeping mats and personal care kits will be distributed to an estimated 100 families during the coming month.”

ERD is one of those organizations that doesn’t put 1,000 volunteers on the ground to do the relief and development. Instead, it partners with various organizations and works with Episcopal and Anglican partners who are already in place, who know the needs of the people, and who guide the whole process.

In working this way, ERD serves as a good model for how we truly can be partners and friends with our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. Listening to the needs and desires of the people is more important than problem-solving in a vacuum.

I worked with ERD extensively after the earthquake in Haiti, and know how hard it is some days to listen first, and then act. But if we truly want to be partners with others around the world, we have to take the time to listen. And we have to respect those who speak.

Read more from ERD’s work in Ecuador here.


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